Scarlett Johansson Drags Disney To Court For Violating 'Black Widow' Contract

The lawsuit, filed by Scarlett Johansson in a Los Angeles court, says Disney violated a contract with her by not releasing the film only in theaters. Scarlett Johansson has sued Disney for deliberately undermining contractual obligations.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Jul 30, 2021 13:02 IST
Scarlett Johansson Drags Disney To Court For Violating 'Black Widow' Contract
Scarlett Johansson vs Disney

Actress Scarlett Johansson, who has long been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as "Black Widow", has dragged Hollywood giant Disney to court over the release of her MCU debut solo film of the same name. . The lawsuit, filed by Johansson in a Los Angeles court, says Disney violated a contract with her by not releasing the film only in theaters.

According to Johansson, a significant part of her fees for working in the film had to come from the earnings after the film's theaterical release, but Disney damaged this possibility by releasing the film on theaters as well as OTT. Disney has described the lawsuit as tragic.

As as soon as the outbreak of Coronavirus spread, like all other films, its release was continuously postponed. After delaying all the dates, the film 'Black Widow' was released in theaters on 9th of this month. Simultaneously, the film was released on Disney Plus OTT with a premium fee of $ 30.

The film 'Black Widow' has made the record for the highest first weekend collection of films released in theaters since March last year. The film 'Black Widow', which could be released in only 4160 screens, earned $ 80.4 million on the first weekend. Earlier, 'Fast and Furious 9', which was released on June 25, got 4179 screens but its first weekend gross was only $ 70 million.

Scarlett Johansson feels that if the film had been released only in cinemas all over the world, then its earning amount could have been much higher. The lawsuit said, "Disney knowingly violated the agreement with Marvel, and by doing so without any reasonable basis, debarred Johansson from taking full advantage of the deal with Marvel over the film."

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Disney had announced the release of the film 'Black Widow' in theaters and OTT simultaneously in this March. It was released in theaters opening with less capacity after the Corona transition period and also set a new record for the Corona period of box office earnings in the release weekend.

The lawsuit filed by Johansson specifically mentions Disney's benefits from releasing the film on OTT. With reference to the increase in the price of its shares in the stock market, the lawsuit said that by doing so, millions of Disney fans watched the film on OTT instead of going to the theatres. 

Black Widow Trailer-

 

It is worth noting that under a similar decision, when Warner Bros. Studios decided to release their films directly on HBO Max, it had to pay a huge amount separately to all the actors of their films. If a similar decision is taken in the lawsuit filed by Johansson, then the film production companies may have to think afresh in this regard.

After the news of Johansson's lawsuit became public, Disney Studios reacted sharply to it. Disney studios, which usually take a very mild stance on such matters, have not taken Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit lightly. Disney said, 'This is a very reckless insult to the long and dangerous impact of the Kovid 19 pandemic on the entire world. There is no basis for this case and it is very sad and painful.

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